September 2007

For a great quick and easy side dish, make the recipe below – it has tons of flavor and takes just 10 minutes total! Thanks to Allison for this quick and easy recipe.

Boil 1 lb. trimmed string beans for 2 minutes. Drain the beans.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil. Add 1 can sliced water chestnuts, the blanched string beans and one packet of Good Seasons italian salad dressing mix. Saute a few minutes or until the beans are completely coated with the spice mix.





Today’s recipe is a twist on a traditional Jewish food. Blintzes are usually served as part of a dinner. My Aunt Bonnie has a recipe for a mini version of these cheese-filled treats that is OUT OF THIS WORLD. They’re really NOT good for you. In fact, they’re flat out bad for you.

Most recently, she served them at her annual Break Fast (the meal that ‘breaks the fast’ after Yom Kippur) last weekend. I’m not going to lie and say that Mr. Hillman’s Helpings and I didn’t eat half of them…



Cut off the crust of 2 loaves of white bread. Roll out each slice until thin.

Combine 2-8 oz. packages of cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar, two egg yolks and 3/4 tbs of vanilla extract. Blend with a hand mixer.

Spread mixture on each slice of bread thinly and tightly roll up each slice. Cut into 1.5 inch pieces (about the size of a mini hot dog).

Melt 2 sticks of butter or margarine. Dip each mini blintz in the butter and roll it in cinnamon sugar (you can find prepared cinnamon sugar in the spice aisle of the grocery store). Place the blintzes on a cookie sheet and place in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

If you want to make these babies ahead, lay them on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once they are frozen individually, you can put them in a plastic freezer bag until you are ready to eat them. Heat as directed above.

They taste like small pieces of heaven!

I hope you enjoyed Hillman’s Helpings!


Lauren Hillman
Hillman’s Helpings

Soooooooooooooooooo good!

Chicken in Sherry Mushroom
Cooking Light
4 servings

1 (10 ounce) can no-salt-added chicken broth
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 (4 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
vegetable oil cooking spray
1 tablespoon margarine, melted
2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1/4 cup dry sherry or madeira wine
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Place chicken broth in a small saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat, and cook 5 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup.

Set aside.

Combine flour, salt and pepper, sprinkle over chicken.

Coat a large frypan wih cooking spray and place over medium high heat until hot.

Add chicken, cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned.

Remove chicken from frypan, and set aside.
Wipe drippings from frypan with a paper towel.

Add margarine, mushrooms and shallots to frypan, cook over medium high heat until mushrooms are lightly browned, stirring constantly.

Add sherry, and bring to a boil, add broth and cook 7 minutes or until sauce is reduced to 1 1/4 cups.

Return chicken to frypan, reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes or until chicken is done.

Remove chicken to a serving platter and keep warm.

Cook sauce over high heat about 5 minutes or until reduced to 1 cup, stir in parsley.

Serve sherry mushroom sauce with chicken breasts.


I’m always in the market for more ways to spice up a dull chicken breast, aren’t you? I like a nice sauce that has lots of flavor (especially garlic), veggies, and most importantly, it cannot take too long to make.

Monday night I came up with the recipe below using the leftover veggies I had in my fridge. I used canned artichoke hearts and asparagus, but you can always substitute with zucchini, squash or any other veggie of your choosing.

Serve with couscous – it will soak up the leftover sauce and taste great!


Serves 2

Pound two chicken breasts to they’re thin, like chicken cutlets. Season them with salt and pepper.

Preheat a large saute pan at medium-high heat with 1 tbs. extra virgin olive oil. Cook the chicken on both sides, about 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and cover it with foil.

Add to the saute pan two chopped garlic cloves. Saute for 30 seconds and then add 1 can quartered artichoke hearts and about 20ish stalks of asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces. Saute for 3-4 minutes or until asparagus is a little soft.

Add 1/4 cup white wine, 1/2 cup chicken stock, 1 tbs. butter and salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer until the sauce has reduced a bit, 3-4 minutes.

Turn off the heat and add 2 tbs. fat free half & half (can be found at any major grocery store). Add the chicken back to the pan and coat it with the sauce.

Note: The sauce shouldn’t be thick.

Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley on the mixture.


Hope you enjoyed Hillman’s Helpings!


Lauren Hillman
Hillman’s Helpings


The Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, began last night. In celebration, I’m providing a recipe for a traditional Jewish recipe that is made for nearly every holiday: Kugel! Now, some people pronounce it k-oo-g-el, some people pronounce it k-uh-g-el but no matter what you call it, it’s ALWAYS good.

It’s basically a noodle cake made with cheese and in some cases, raisins, cinnamon and corn flakes! It sounds pretty nasty but I promise that it’s really not. Go ahead and try it!



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.

Cook 12 oz. (one bag) wide egg noodles 7-8 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat 8 oz. cream cheese, 4 tb. butter and 1/3 cup sugar.

Add 4 eggs and beat. Stir in 1 cup of milk.

Stir in noodles and 2 granny smith apples peeled and cut into ½ inch chunks. Pour into the buttered baking dish.

For Topping – Combine ¼ cup brown sugar, 1 tsp. cinnamon and 2 tb. butter. Stir in 1 cup cornflakes.

Spread the topping over the noodles in the dish.

Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Happy New Year! Hope you enjoyed Hillman’s Helpings.


Lauren Hillman
Hillman’s Helpings

This was one really really great dinner! I made it for my fiance on Fri night, and after not having a home-cooked meal for a week, it definitely hit the spot!

The recipe comes from Rachael Ray (I’m not a hater)!

Show-Stopper Seared Scallops with Lemon Scented Bread Crumbs and Fettuccine with Saffron and Asparagus Recipe
courtesy Rachael Ray
Serves 4

1 pound asparagus tips
1 pound dry fettuccine
Extra-virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons plus some for drizzling
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine, eyeball it
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Pinch saffron or 1 packet saffron powder, available at many markets on spice aisle
1/4 cup heavy cream, eyeball it
Black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup bread crumbs
1 lemon, zested
Handful parsley, finely chopped
16 sea scallops, trimmed

Bring 1-inch of water to a boil in a large skillet as well as a large pot of water, for pasta. When the water in the skillet comes up to a boil, add salt and asparagus and blanch for 2 minutes, drain and reserve. When the pasta water comes up to a boil, salt it and cook fettuccine to al dente.

While the pasta water comes up to a boil, in the pan which you blanched the asparagus in, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, over medium heat then add garlic and shallot and saute 4 to 5 minutes. Deglaze with wine, reduce 30 seconds then add stock, tomatoes and a pinch of saffron or an envelope of saffron powder. Simmer 10 minutes. Stir in cream then season sauce with salt and pepper, to taste.

While sauce cooks, heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add butter, melt then add the bread crumbs and toast them. Add salt and pepper, lemon zest and parsley, remove and reserve. Wipe pan clean and return the skillet to medium-high heat and preheat until very hot. Drizzle scallops with extra-virgin olive oil and add to hot pan to caramelize on each side, 3 minutes on the first side 2 on the second.

Chop asparagus into 1-inch pieces on an angle and add to sauce. Drain pasta and toss with asparagus and sauce. Serve pasta with seared scallops, 4 per person, alongside and top the scallops with the lemon scented bread crumbs.


My sincere apologies for not sending out an e-mail last week. I don’t want to go into the details, but I was super stressed, sick and had a sick puppy on my hands. It wasn’t pretty.

Anyhow, I’ve been cooking less lately because Mr. Hillman’s Helpings is working nights (and it’s no fun to make a big meal for yourself!). Despite the absence of my roomie, I had this strong desire on Monday to make crab cakes!

I decided that I wanted to design a recipe that was light and full of veggies and crab, not filler. Below is what I came up with. They turned out great, if I do say so myself.

Bon appetit!

Serves 4

Combine in a bowl:
1/3 cup light Mayo
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
2 tbs. minced celery
1.5 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 lb. lump crab meat
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs (found in Asian aisle of grocery store)

Form into 8 patties with your hands. Spread 1/2 cup panko on a plate and dredge all patties in the panko.

Preheat a NONSTICK skillet at medium heat with 1 tsp. butter and 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil. Cook the patties (don’t crowd the skillet, 2-3 per batch) for 4-5 minutes on each side or until browned.

Serving Size = 2 cakes



Mix together 1/2 cup light Mayo, 1 tbs. dijon mustard (keep adding dijon until you get the mustard-y color you like), 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce and one finely chopped dill pickle.

Serve with crab cakes!

I hope you’ve enjoyed Hillman’s Helpings!


Lauren Hillman
Hillman’s Helpings